DG play DG mic

Pokémon Master or Marketing Guru: Is There a Difference?


Chances are, unless you’ve been living underneath a rock for the last two weeks, you’ll know what Pokémon GO is. It’s smashed all records for app downloads during launch week. It’s also set to earn Apple around $3 billion over the next 12 – 24 months. And forgetting about the stats, it’s become an obsession for people the world over – and its popularity isn’t just limited to kids.

Yeah, you’ve heard all the daft stories. People breaking into buildings and walking off cliffs, just to snag that rare Pokémon. But there’s a lot we can learn from Pokémon GO. And not just the correct way to throw a Pokéball.

Build a world around your target

Pokémon GO’s augmented reality makes each player the star of the show. So you get to make every decision: from choosing your starter Pokémon, to deciding between teams, to how terribly you throw a Pokéball.

You’re not just pressing As, Xs and arrows. You have to walk around. You have to catch the creatures. You need to dodge, duck and dive during gym battles. And then you’re finding Pidgeys in your fridge. Spearows in the office garden. A Snorlax at the park. Pokémon GO has created an entire world around each user. And that’s what B2B marketing needs to do.

Your target should be the focus of every piece of content. What they get from reading and engaging. The benefits our service or product can give them. The reasons why their world will get better with us in it. ‘You’ should be your new favourite word. Move away from a product’s feature, and focus on how your reader’s life will get easier. Make your reader your world, and you can expect results in return.

Prioritise quality over quantity

Ask any budding Pokémon trainer, and they’ll tell you in a heartbeat that they’d rather have one powerful Vaporeon than 25 poor-to-average Rattatas. Pokémon GO emphasises the need for quality over quantity.

It’s the same for marketing. Don’t send your targets endless pieces of poor-to-average cannon-fodder. Instead, create a few pieces of stellar content. Make it unmissable. And something they’ll keep in their collection for a while to come.

Change behaviours

Pokémon GO is one of the first video games to encourage activity and physical movement in limbs other than thumbs. Kids now want to go for walks. Dogs are finally seeing more than one lap of the neighbourhood. It’s changing people’s behaviours. And it’s this that’s helped it to skyrocket. How can parents refuse their children a game that promotes walking and exploring? It’s changing the perception of video games, by changing behaviours.

It’s time to mix up the image of your industry. In B2B marketing it’s easy to fall in the trap of serious-works-best. We can be informative and trustworthy – without being dull as dishwater. Get your audience doing something. Make them an active partner in the conversation, not a passive bystander.

Have a clear CTA

The aim of Pokémon GO is clear. Gotta catch ‘em all. Simple. They don’t say ‘Gotta catch ‘em all and give them cute nicknames, then train them up, then hatch some eggs, then be a GREAT POKÉMON TRAINER’. Of course they wouldn’t. That detracts from their original message – that to be the best, the very best, you need to catch them all. That then propels the rest of the actions in the game.

So it’s time to start simplifying our CTAs. Give your reader one or two things to do, and get the ball rolling. Want them to do something else? Create a new piece of content. If you’re giving your readers a whole list of things to do, chances are they’ll do nothing.

Embrace your inner child

You’ve seen the memes. Heard the snide comments. You’re playing POKÉMON? How old ARE you? Shouldn’t you be reading the Financial Times while doing your accounts? You’re an ADULT for heaven’s sake! Adults who dare to play Pokémon cause unbridled fury among those who don’t. The main argument being, stop acting like a kid.

But hold on a second there. The more we think and act like other people, the better. We need to be able to feel empathy for any age group and any individual. So yes, we need to act and think like kids. Or like the IT guy down the road. Or like the CEO and CFO of your target audience. We need to get inside their brains and learn their behaviours, their patterns and their opinions. Gauge how our product or service will be best received. Basically, it’s not always a bad thing to think like someone else.


About the author

Full stack. Global. Problem solvers. They’re just three ways you could describe us. You could also say we’re a top 10 global b2b marketing agency that specialises in IT and tech. That’s true. But, we do great b2c work too.


The Storm Emma of Online Marketing

In the world of online marketing, what would constitute the perfect storm? And how could you prepare for it? Here, we issue our top three bad-weather warnings and explain how you can protect your brand against them.


Are You a FREE Thinker?

Even if you ignore the now disproven (and non-existent) research by Yale Psychology department, it’s a fact that for many people, the word FREE is the most powerful word in the English language. Not convinced? Check out anything by US DM writing guru Herschell Gordon Lewis, and you’ll see things my way.